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Old 08-26-2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Recessed light directly over shower


I know they you can buy recessed lights that have vent fans built in, or if using a regular dome light, you can buy special sauna type fixtures with heavy duty glass and rubber gasket seals. But what does the NEC say with regards to regular fixtures, specifically recessed lights, being installed directly over showers. Is there a minimum height requirement for when a fixture can or can't be directly over a shower or tub? Someone I work with said her bathroom is being redone, and the contractor put a normal recessed light directly over her shower stall. I don't know the NEC details with this, but I'm assuming that isn't okay without it having some sealed dome over it, or a fan built in it. Any insight into the matter is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Old 08-26-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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Recessed light directly over shower


Sounds scary, unless there's a glass right over and that it's sealed. I'm no NEC expert but I would imagine any light fixture for a moisture environment would need to be listed as such. May as well install receptacles in the bath too, so you can blow dry your hair or plug a TV. :p

Though if the shower seals the light away with a glass or dome I'm sure it's ok. But if the vapour can get to it I would be weary.

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Old 08-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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Recessed light directly over shower


The recessed light over her shower should get a shower trim kit and it'll be fine. That's a glass dome integrated into the trim ring that will seal it up from water intrusion.

There is no fan requirement in or near a shower. The bath has to have one, but proximity to the shower is a quality issue and not a code issue.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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Recessed light directly over shower


Needs GFCI I think. At least that's what I am doing. Using Lightolier lights and trims in a steam shower application.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
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Recessed light directly over shower


The recessed light over the shower would not need GFI protection. However, most fan/light combos will require GFI protection according to the installation instructions.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Recessed light directly over shower


But lights over bath tubs do?
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:46 AM   #7
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Recessed light directly over shower


No. Same as shower. No GFCI required.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:11 AM   #8
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Recessed light directly over shower


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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
No. Same as shower. No GFCI required.
I recall (without citing any specific section of the NEC), installing a certain brand of fan/light combo approved for wet locations. In the package there was a statement, to the effect that if protected by GFCI it's permitted to be installed over a bath or shower! (Now more than ever)Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:10 PM   #9
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Recessed light directly over shower


Many Mfg's will state GFCI required on fans over showers/bath for liability reasons
My shower light is a recessed can - wet/damp (?) rated.
The trim fitting is also rated for wet use & seals the light

I thought there was a restriction on a ceiling fan that extends over a shower/bath?
Not that I have ever installed one there, or would
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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Recessed light directly over shower


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Many Mfg's will state GFCI required on fans over showers/bath for liability reasons
My shower light is a recessed can - wet/damp (?) rated.
The trim fitting is also rated for wet use & seals the light

I thought there was a restriction on a ceiling fan that extends over a shower/bath?
Not that I have ever installed one there, or would

I am using Fantech remote dual intake fan. The manual states "GFCI required if installed over tub/shower". The same manual covers lighted/non-lighted intake grills. Since the fan itself is remote, is it the grill placement they are talking about?

Regardless of what's required, my plan is to put lights in the shower, lights above the tub, TV outlet above the tub on protected circuit. Can't hurt, IMO
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:35 PM   #11
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Recessed light directly over shower


Going above code can never hurt, code is simply the Min requirement
I've always wondered about the lack of GFCI requirement over a shower/bath
The bulb has to be changed at some point?
What are the odds the light goes out while bathing & they decide to change the bulb with a bth full of water
Or simply a wet shower area

I guess it has not happened anough to be an issue
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Recessed light directly over shower


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I guess it has not happened anough to be an issue
Is it how lots of codes updates get created?
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:40 PM   #13
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Recessed light directly over shower


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Originally Posted by BimmerRacer View Post
Is it how lots of codes updates get created?
Yes, generally if there are enough "problems" with something a recommendation is made to change the code
Anyone can actually make a recommenation to the Code panel
The AFCI code changes are a result of fires started by arcing

Still a lot of discussion going on regarding AFCI's
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:56 PM   #14
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Recessed light directly over shower


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Originally Posted by BimmerRacer View Post
Regardless of what's required, my plan is to put lights in the shower, lights above the tub, TV outlet above the tub on protected circuit. Can't hurt, IMO
You cannot install a receptacle in a bathroom over a tub, period. Not even a dedicated one for a TV. It is specifically prohibited by code and is not allowed under any circumstances. The wall space enclosing the tub is off limits, regardless of height of the proposed receptacle. All receptacles installed anywhere in bathrooms must be GFCI protected.

Code does not require GFCI protection on lights or fans over tubs either. That's of course a minimum standard though, and as stated, a lot of fixture manufacturers recommend it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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Recessed light directly over shower


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
you cannot install a receptacle in a bathroom over a tub, period. Not even a dedicated one for a tv. It is specifically prohibited by code and is not allowed under any circumstances. The wall space enclosing the tub is off limits, regardless of height of the proposed receptacle. All receptacles installed anywhere in bathrooms must be gfci protected.

Code does not require gfci protection on lights or fans over tubs either. That's of course a minimum standard though, and as stated, a lot of fixture manufacturers recommend it.

hrm!

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